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E-M:/ Palisades plant radioactive waste storage



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Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
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[Federal Register: September 27, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 186)]
[Notices]
[Page 56496-56497]
 From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr27se05-104]

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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
[Docket No. 72-7]
 
Nuclear Management Company; Palisades Independent Spent Fuel 
Storage Installation; Environmental Assessment and Finding of No 
Significant Impact

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or Commission) is 
considering issuance of an exemption to Nuclear Management Company, LLC 
(NMC or licensee), pursuant to 10 CFR 72.7, from specific provisions of 
10 CFR 72.212(a)(2), 72.212(b)(2)(i)(A), 72.212(b)(7), and 72.214. The 
licensee wants to use the Transnuclear, Inc. (TN) NUHOMS Storage 
System, Certificate of Compliance No. 1004 (CoC or Certificate) 
Amendment No. 8 (32PT dry shielded canister (DSC)) to store spent 
nuclear fuel under a general license in an Independent Spent Fuel 
Storage Installation (ISFSI) associated with the operation of the 
Palisades Nuclear Plant (PNP), located in Van Buren County, Michigan. 
The requested exemption would allow NMC to store fuel in the TN 
NUHOMS[supreg]-32PT system using revised fuel specifications and fuel 
qualification tables prior to completion of the proposed TN NUHOMS CoC 
Amendment No. 8 rulemaking.

Environmental Assessment (EA)

Identification of Proposed

    The proposed action would exempt NMC from the requirements of 10 
CFR 72.212(a)(2), 72.212(b)(2)(i)(A), 72.212(b)(7), and 72.214 and 
enable NMC to use the TN NUHOMS[supreg]-32PT cask design as amended by 
proposed TN NUHOMS[supreg]
CoC No. 1004, Amendment No. 8 at PNP. These 
regulations specifically require storage in casks approved under the 
provisions of 10 CFR Part 72 and compliance with the conditions set 
forth in the CoC for each dry spent fuel storage cask used by an ISFSI 
general licensee. The TN NUHOMS[supreg]
CoC provides requirements, 
conditions, and operating limits in Attachment A, Technical 
Specifications. The proposed action would exempt NMC from the 
requirements of 10 CFR 72.212(a)(2) and 72.214 enabling the licensee to 
store fuel in the TN NUHOMS[supreg]-32PT DSC system prior to the 
effective date of the final rule change for the Amendment No. 8 
approving the issuance of this amended CoC. The proposed action would 
also exempt NMC from the requirements of 10 CFR 72.212(b)(2)(i)(A) and 
72.212(b)(7) to allow the use of revised fuel specification and fuel 
qualification tables in the proposed CoC for Amendment No. 8. 
Specifically, the exemption would be from the requirement that does not 
include provisions for the loading of low enrichment/high burnup fuel, 
assemblies with stainless steel plugging clusters, and reconstituted 
fuel into the NUHOMS-32PT storage system. NMC requested that the 
exemptions remain in effect for 90 days following the effective date of 
the final rule change to 10 CFR 72.214 to incorporate TN CoC No. 1004, 
Amendment No. 8. The proposed action would allow NMC to use the 32PT 
system as described in the proposed TN NUHOMS[supreg]
CoC Amendment No. 
8 requests currently under staff review.
    The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's request 
for exemption dated August 22, 2005, as supplemented on September 20, 
2005,

Need for the Proposed Action

    The proposed action is needed because NMC plans to initiate the 
transfer of the PNP spent fuel pool contents to the ISFSI in October 
2005. The NMC transfer campaign includes loading fuel assemblies with 
low enrichment/high burnup, assemblies with stainless steel plugging 
clusters, and reconstituted fuel from the spent fuel pool into the 32PT 
DSC. Loading of these types of fuel assemblies would not be permitted 
based on the current TS for the NUHOMS[supreg]-32PT storage system. The 
proposed Amendment No. 8 to CoC No. 1004, as transmitted by TN in a 
letter dated, June 10, 2005, includes proposed changes to TS 1.2.1, 
``Fuel Specifications.'' The proposed TS changes contain provisions for 
low enrichment/high burnup fuel, assemblies with stainless steel 
plugging clusters, and reconstituted fuel to be loaded into the 
NUHOMS[supreg]-32PT DSC. The proposed action is necessary because the 
10 CFR 72.214 rulemaking to implement the TN NUHOMS[supreg]
CoC 
Amendment No. 8 is not projected for completion until late Fall 2005, 
which will not support the PNP fuel transfer and dry cask storage 
loading schedule.

[[Page 56497]]

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The NRC has completed its evaluation of the proposed action and 
concludes that there will be no significant environmental impact if the 
exemptions are granted. The staff reviewed the analyses provided in the 
TN NUHOMS[supreg]
amendment application addressing the NUHOMS[supreg]-
32PT system. Included in this application were the revised fuel 
specification and fuel qualification tables that allow the loading of 
fuel assemblies with low enrichment/high burnup fuel, assemblies with 
stainless steel plugging clusters, and reconstituted fuel. The staff 
has completed its Safety Evaluation Reports (SER) associated with 
review of this application. The staff concluded that the NUHOMS system 
with the revised contents (low enrichment/high burnup fuel, assemblies 
with stainless steel plugging clusters, and reconstituted fuel) for the 
32PT DSC meets the acceptance criteria specified in 10 CFR Part 72. The 
SER for the TN NUHOMS[supreg]-32PT system documenting the staff's 
safety findings and conclusions was included as an enclosure to the 
letter to U.B. Chopra, dated March 30, 2005.
    The NRC concludes that there is reasonable assurance that the 
proposed exemptions have no impact on off-site doses.
    The potential environmental impact of using the NUHOMS[supreg]
system was initially presented in the Environmental Assessment (EA) for 
the Final Rule to add the TN Standardized NUHOMS[supreg]
Horizontal 
Modular Storage System for Irradiated Nuclear Fuel to the list of 
approved spent fuel storage casks in 10 CFR 72.214 (59 FR 65898, dated 
December 22, 1994). The potential environmental impact of using the 
NUHOMS[supreg]-32PT system was initially presented in the EA for the 
proposed rule to add the 32PTH system to the Standardized 
NUHOMS[supreg]
system, Amendment No. 5 (68 FR 49726, dated August 19, 
2003). The TN 32PT system does not increase the probability or 
consequences of accidents, no changes are being made in the types of 
any effluents that may be released offsite, and there is no significant 
increase in occupational or public radiation exposure. Therefore, there 
are no significant radiological environmental impacts associated with 
the proposed action.
    With regard to potential nonradiological impacts, the proposed 
action does not have a potential to affect any historic sites. It does 
not affect nonradiological plant effluents and has no other 
environmental impact. Therefore, there are no significant 
nonradiological environmental impacts associated with the proposed action.
    Accordingly, the NRC concludes that there are no significant 
environmental impacts associated with the proposed action.

Alternative to the Proposed Action

    Since there is no significant environmental impact associated with 
the proposed action, alternatives with equal or greater environmental 
impact were not evaluated. As an alternative to the proposed action, 
the staff considered denial or ``no-action'' of the proposed action. 
Denial of the exemption would result in no change in current 
environmental impact. NMC considers the ``no-action'' alternative to 
impact NMC's ability to provide affordable and competitive power since 
rescheduling of the fall 2005 loading campaign could impact future NMC 
budget planning.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    This exemption request was discussed with Mr. Lou Brandon, Chief of 
the Nuclear Facilities Unit, Department of Environmental Quality, for 
the State of Michigan, on September 7, 2005. He stated that the State 
had no comments on the technical aspects of the exemption. The NRC 
staff has determined that a consultation under Section 7 of the 
Endangered Species Act is not required because the proposed action will 
not affect listed species or critical habitat. The NRC staff has also 
determined that the proposed action is not a type of activity having 
the potential to cause effects on historic properties. Therefore, no 
further consultation is required under Section 106 of the National 
Historic Preservation Act.

Finding of No Significant Impact

    The environmental impacts of the proposed action have been reviewed 
in accordance with the requirements set forth in 10 CFR Part 51. Based 
upon the foregoing EA, the Commission finds that the proposed action of 
granting the exemption from specific provisions of 10 CFR 72.212(a)(2), 
72.212(b)(2)(i)(A), 72.212(b)(7), and 10 CFR 72.214, to allow NMC to 
use the proposed CoC No. 1004, Amendment No. 8, will not significantly 
impact the quality of the human environment. Accordingly, the 
Commission has determined that an environmental impact statement for 
the proposed exemption is not warranted.
    In accordance with 10 CFR 2.390 of NRC's ``Rules of Practice,'' 
final NRC records and documents regarding this proposed action are 
publicly available in the records component of NRC's Agencywide 
Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS). The request for 
exemption dated August 22, 2005, and September 20, 2005, was docketed 
under 10 CFR Part 72, Docket No. 72-7. These documents may be inspected 
at NRC's Public Electronic Reading Room at <A HREF="http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html";>http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/
adams.html</A>. These documents may also be viewed electronically 
on the public computers located at the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR), 
O-1F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. 
The PDR reproduction contractor will copy documents for a fee. Persons 
who do not have access to ADAMS or who encounter problems in accessing 
the documents located in ADAMS, should contact the NRC PDR Reference 
staff by telephone at 1-800-397-4209 or (301) 415-4737, or by e-mail to <A HREF="mailto:pdr@nrc.gov";>
pdr@nrc.gov</A>.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 20th day of September, 2005.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
L. Raynard Wharton,
Project Manager, Spent Fuel Project Office, Office of Nuclear Material 
Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. E5-5176 Filed 9-26-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P

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Alex J. Sagady & Associates        http://www.sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Permit/Technical Review, Public Policy, 
Evidence Review and Litigation Investigation on Air, Water and 
Waste/Community Environmental and Resource Protection
Prospectus at:  http://www.sagady.com/sagady.pdf 

PO Box 39,  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039  
(517) 332-6971; (517) 332-8987 (fax); ajs@sagady.com
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